The College of Lake County's two Children's Learning Centers, offering preschool services to community members as well as CLC students and staff, have openings on the Grayslake and Waukegan (Lakeshore) campuses.
Operating since 1973, the Children's Learning Centers establish a foundation for elementary school and the years beyond. They are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and have been recognized by the state of Illinois as Gold Circle of Quality centers.
CLC's centers allow parents to choose the hours that fit their class, study or work schedules.
The center's staff of three full-time and four part-time teachers, including two who have taught for more than 25 years, works with other CLC departments to give children a varied, multisensory learning experience.
"We make full use of each campus," said Sandy Groeninger, director of the Children's Learning Centers. "For example, at Grayslake, teachers lead the kids to tour areas including the art department, Café Willow kitchen and our nature trail.
"At Lakeshore Campus, we take the children to visit the Dental Hygiene Clinic. Kids love our school, and they develop a positive attitude toward learning because they have a close, working relationship with the teachers."
Students on the Grayslake Campus will also see, when scheduled, children's theatrical productions.
The convenience of the Children's Learning Center on the Grayslake Campus has made a huge difference for Maria Elizarraraz, a career changer from Vernon Hills. She has brought her two sons to the center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday for the past three years while completing her associate degree.
"My children received much individual attention, and as my oldest son begins kindergarten, I can see that he is already ahead of his peers in social skills and willingness to learn new things," she said.
"My husband and I did a lot of research, and we found that CLC is among the lowest-priced day cares in all of Lake County, and there's no question you're getting the best quality care, too," she said.
"Knowing that the center could keep my kids an extra two or three hours in late afternoon so I could go to the library and study made my life 100 times easier. After bringing my kids home, I could then focus on my role as a wife, mom and caregiver for my own parents."
Without CLC's Children's Learning Centers, Elizarraraz said she would not have been able to get an associate degree and embark on a career change from clerical work to college counselor.
"I would have been stuck in a job, not progressing to a career," said Elizarraraz, who has transferred to DePaul University, where she plans to earn a bachelor's in sociology, a minor in psychology and a master's in social work. "The Children's Learning Center gives hope to people."
For more information, contact the Children's Learning Center at (847) 543-2053.
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